Grateful Dead Live at Great American Music Hall on 1975-08-13
- Live concert
- Grateful Dead
- DeadLists Project
Pitch corrected version of FM broadcast originally seeded by CousinIt by Matt Vernon
- 2004-08-17 10:02:34
- Pitch corrected version of FM broadcast
- San Francisco, CA
- This show has been commercially released as "One From The Vault"
- Soundboard - FM
- This show has been commercially released. For more details see dead.net.
Subject: The album showcase
There are probably no DeadHeads who have not heard this one. FM>C90s of the show were well-traded and there was a common vinyl boot. It used to confuse me when people talked about '75 being the "hiatus year", because I had this show and thought it must have been a big year! What most of us didn't know was that this was an invite-only, album release promotion. Rather than book with a promoter, they self-rented this tiny 400-seater in The Tenderloin district. Though termed a "music hall", it was a full-fledged jazz club, with a full bar, food menu and tables. The Dead were 8 years past booking Bay Area venues this small, and it was the only time they played it (though Garcia bands played here several times). There were label people invited, but the invitations zeroed-in on radio programmers in town for a Billboard convention [other invite-showcases that week were Glen Campbell and Waylon Jennings]. One reason for the event was that Grateful Dead Records wasn't staying afloat, because:
a)The Dead were on touring hiatus
b)The GD Movie project was costing hundreds of thousands
c)They had no distribution deal for the albums they had pressed
So conmanager Rakow sold it to United Artists Records on the promise that they would then distribute (and foreign-release) Blues for Allah, and get to release the movie soundtrack album. And they set up this industry showcase. With the movie stalled, the Dead delivered Steal Your Face to UAR, culled from the same run of '74 shows; but without a released film, it could not be marketed as a tie-in (and anyway Rakow took the advance and ran).
The show is known for those circumstances, its unique setlist, but also its quality. They played the complete new album, with 8 "oldies" sprinkled in, to keep attention. This was the only time they played a current album live (they played an industry showcase in '66, and there were shows in '68 where they more or less played Anthem of the Sun). The show is short, at just over 2hrs. Both sets have a drum solo, and Mickey is sitting in - not yet fully returned to the band. It's also known for Mickey bringing a box of crickets and miking them (heard best on the CD encore). Phil said in his book:
"The rehearsals for the release party were more fun that we’d had any right to expect. We tried to integrate Mickey’s crickets into the performance of “Unusual Occurrences,” but they escaped from their sand-filled box through the microphone hole. Healy, at Mickey’s insistence, kept running the cricket track louder and louder as the crickets became fewer and fewer. To the best of my knowledge, they can still be heard chirping nightly from the highest rafters of the Great American Music Hall."
Billy put it more poetically in his book:
"The crickets joined the revolution and staged a jailbreak. They liberated themselves...and made the Great American Music Hall their home. They were granted asylum. It was a very bright, clear, expressive night for the whole band. It was also just a really big moment for me, personally. It was the first time that I thought we could be a band again. And the first time I thought having two drummers again could work. The live run-through of the album should’ve been the album itself. Sixteen years later we came around to that idea—we released One From the Vault. I have such a clear memory of that entire night...a very pivotal gig and a great night of my life, overall." He then relates a story of driving home and doing 120mph in his Alfa Romeo on the bridge crossing The Golden Gate.
This was the only show in '75 that they promoted as Grateful Dead. At the 9/28 surprise show Kantner introduced them as Grateful Dead, but the 3/23 & 6/17 shows were billed as Jerry Garcia & Friends. The FM broadcast became a vinyl bootleg, titled either "Make Believe Ballroom" or "Hot as Hell" (and subtitled "The 1975 Spotcheck" ??). Tapes in circ often came from this needle drop, missing 45mins via edits and 3 truant tracks. It then became the first officially released full show (landmark!). It has the correct pitch, the show is intact [less the tunings and edited intro] and in order. The album cover claims this was the first time the Blues for Allah songs were played, but that's not really true (pictures on the album curiously show a mask of Kissinger onstage). The show works so well because they rehearsed it. That's not Dead SOP, but the woodshedding shows throughout.
First Set. The official release is a mix-down, with a different image (Jer centered), so I switch channels for accuracy. This is the second-ever Help on the Way, and it's amazing. Likewise, the second Slipknot! (still short), and Franklin's (paragon). Music Never Stopped is the first one, and has the rehearsed vocal [check 3:30>3:45]. Musta Been Roses suffices. Eyes is the only one between 10/24/74 & 6/9/76. It takes off and keeps taking off. Can you even stand it? King Solomon's Marbles is the classic version. This used to appear incorrectly on tapes/lists as "Stronger Than Dirt" (actually the correct notation would be KSM>Stronger than Dirt>KSM). Bootlegs called this "Milking the Roses". King Solomon's was written by Phil, except the section with the start/stop riff (starting @2:35). This part was called Milkin' the Turkey, to give writing credit to Hart/Kreutzmann. The riff reminded them of the Stronger Than Dirt riff in the Ajax commercial [and at the end of Touch Me], hence "StD or MtT". There was an earlier version of KSM on 3/23, with a different structure, then one on 6/17. The fullest version is the final one, 9/28. That one and this one are the only two with a Stronger/Turkey [there is a Playin' jam on 7/16/76 that resembles KSM, but not quite].
Second Set. The official unnecessarily moves the break announcement after Around & Around (which is on the mellower side yet still punchy). After a solid Sugaree is an incredible Big River. This is the version that made me realize it's not only one of their best covers, but best songs. The 2nd solo is one of Jer's top performances. When I built my first DAW, this was the 1st song I analyzed. Jer didn't play exactly like this in '74 or '76, so we only have a few representative tracks. Crazy Fingers is the second-ever, and one of the few from the new album that will stick in '76 (along with Help>Slip>Franks & MNS). It was next played in Jun '76, but this is the type locality. Check Bobby's cool lines. The Other One doesn't resolve before they launch Sage & Spirit, playing like a TOO sandwich missing the other slice (⅓ is "quiet"). Sage is the first of only two times Bobby's instrumental was played. The second, shorter one, during 3SF80 (10/31), was under similarly unique circumstances. But this is the only electric one - the album version they had just recorded is acoustic guitar & flute; '80 is acoustic [with the flute line played by Jer]. So it's singular, and in a rarity for Jer, he uses a volume pedal. The beginning of Goin' Down the Road is clipped on all but the official. Happy band = happy GDtrFB, in unusual position as set-ender. Blues for Allah is the 3rd and final one, but the only one sung. It's the second to incorporate Sand Castles>Unusual Occurrences ("Under Eternity"), and completes the performance of Side 2 of the upcoming album (both beginning and end are clipped on SBDs). Sand Castles begins @~4mins and Unusual Occurrences @~15mins. What a bizarre and wonderful encore finish!
1st Set: A
2nd Set: A
Overall = 5 stars
SOURCES: SBD sources have long been deforested by the sparkling clarity of the official release. But for the historical trade, the vernon_23661 is best, needing just -1% pitch adjustment for U.S. Blues. It has the original tunings and introduction (trimmed from the official by as much as 17secs in places). The cousinit_18512 runs way too fast.
We played the shit out them and a few months later I saw my first shows 12/3/79. It has never sounded better. It is absolutely c r a c k l i n g with energy.
Subject: At Aussie Deadhead
Love you Derek. Peace my brother.
Subject: Blues For Allah
Subject: Crazy Fingers for President
Subject: As good as it gets
Subject: Get It!
Subject: Sage and Spirit
Subject: Under Eternity Blues!
Oh yeah,the rest of the show is great too :)
Subject: Best. Eyes. Ever.
Subject: I WAS THERE!
Subject: Blown away every time
Subject: Lock, Bolt & Key
Subject: Interesting nuance to our understanding...
Subject: 40 years ago today
Subject: Ron Rakow
Contrary to the lore that the Dead always blew the big ones (which does have some truth to it), they didn't blow this one. No, it was not a 300,000 person event or anything like that; just a small theater. But with the radio broadcast and the industry execs being invited, the band approached this as a major event for not only Round Records but their new music as well and prepared accordingly. The playing here is just so fine. It's not 73 or 74 anymore and that's OK. The changes in their style are obvious but they are still at the top of the game for a little while longer.
Blues for Allah is best appreciated when you compare it to the number of other times it was "jammed" out like this (zero). This isn't music so much as an extraordinarily vivid sound collage; one of my most treasured tracks in the band's entire history.
Subject: Stream it here
it takes a minute or two to download.
Subject: Too Bad this isn't available anymore
Subject: Happy Birthday!
An amazing show. Bravo.
Subject: This was my first ever Grateful Dead Show
Sweet, Sweet, Sweet Music.
I hits a nerve in my soul.
So, anyway, this was also one of the first CDs I bought. I remember being sort of confused. I have all these tapes (thank you tapers!) and now I'm going to pay more than the cost of a couple of blank Maxell XLsomethings and some of those hand drawn tape inserts that you pick up from some cool cat in the parking lot to buy a show that I already have? Well, I broke down and bought it and it was awesome! We used to hang out in my room in college and play it over and over and over.
Now, as listen to this show again after more than ten years, I'm floored.
Jerry tickles your spine with his fast finger work on King Solomon's Marbles (or what I always thought was called Stronger than Dirt).
Everything is so tight. Sounds so intimate. I can almost imagine myself there. I would love to have been there but, alas, I was still in diapers.
Subject: i wish i was invited
Subject: Talk about feeling it!
Subject: ONE OF THE ALL TIME GREATS!!!
WITH ALL THIS BEING SAID, lets get down to facts: Arguably the BEST Help/Slip/Frank they ever did (Downs of Santa Fe; 83?...Buffalo 77??) BUT what alot of people DONT talk about is the ROUND N' ROUND. I challange ANYONE to find a better version of this song. It is absolutely brilliant with Jerry and Keith playing there faces off. This version really shows what a great swing band they could be! Oh and by the way, the sound quality is top notch, and Kieth is playing flawlessly and is getting INCREDIBLE sound out of his keyboard (moog?) I love that 1 lingering note that he hits right as the end of Slip Knot starts to kick in (you know the one i mean!).....im out
Subject: Goose Bumps
Subject: beyond description
Subject: Dead 101
I proudly and humbly submit a rating of Multiple Stars&Skulls.
Subject: A Classic
Subject: this is a great one
Subject: Perfection + +...............+
The set itself is also perfect. 11 Stars. Eyes Of The World rocks. Most definately one of those shows you must, Must, MUST have!
Subject: Surprised no one pointed this out yet but ; )
Subject: One From the Vault
In the album notes, Dan Healy writes "When we completed the recording and mixing of the "Blues for Allah" studio album at Weir's studio, whcih this album was the maiden voyage for, we gathered up our instruments and equipment and moved to the Great American Music Hall. The idea was to perform live to the world, for the first time, "Blues for Allah" in celebration of not only the completion of the album but also the beginning of Grateful Dead Records...This represents the beginning of the release of the vault tapes."
Subject: One From The Vault
Subject: Great show/Correst track List
Subject: Make Believe Ballroom
Subject: This is it my friend................
Subject: no title
I thought if a show was released by the band, only AUD recordings could be posted?
Oh, about the show... anyone who has been into the Dead for more than two minutes knows what this show is all about. This is definitely one of the answers to the "If you were stranded on an island" question. If you don't already have the Vault release, you'd be crazy to pass this one up! I agree with everyone here that five stars is simply not enough for this masterpiece.
Subject: Great American Music, indeed!
Subject: holy hand grenade
i have the version they taped off the board onto
16 trak ampex then made digital
tis great it clips hard once on blues for allah
i'd like to get ahold of the master
heh heh ya right
this is a must have 11 out of 5 stars
quit reading this and get it now
this is a direct order
Subject: aaaahhhhh!grateful dead.
ya know....i love you guys @ the archive but 5 stars just isn't enough for some of theese shows
dl this show then buy 2 of the vault releasees just to help support 4 of the coolest multi millionaires on the planet.
Subject: great american music hall
ive seen a show at this venue and i know what goes on in there, theres energy runnin all throughout the dance floor running up around to the balcony's
and phils been there a few times he jammed franklins tower with umphrey's mcgee :) haah peace
Subject: Mmmmmmm :)
Subject: Thanks to Ron Rakow
Subject: simply put....
Keep the archive alive, as well as the music.
Subject: yes! and it counts
Subject: Just buy the Vault release....
Subject: Great concert -- NOTE: TRACKING OFF
Subject: 1 of THE ALL TIME BEST
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